Making A Screw Organizer Workshop Projects
This is one that I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time, a dedicated set of multi-compartment drawers to hold the small fasteners I use on most projects.
As you can see here, the screws come in small plastic containers that are handy to use, since the cover snaps in place when closed, but are all different sizes and hard to organize. They also have a bad habit of falling on the floor and breaking open:
My old downdraft sanding table takes the bulk of the larger fasteners I use, but I want one with smaller compartments to keep this assortment of smaller screws and other fasteners (finish nails, washers, nuts, etc.)
So I came up with a basic design in SketchUp and then started cutting out the parts:
And there was a lot of cutting to make the parts for the 30 drawers, but that’s all part of the woodworkers repertoire of fun things to do in the pursuit of progress. I made the bulk of this screw organizer from a 48″ x 48″ sheet of 1/4″ thick plywood – floor underlay, actually. This plywood has the advantage of being uniform in thickness and fairly low cost ($15.99 for me here), but has marks all over the surface of the better side.
My design is interesting in that the drawer bottom also acts as the runners for the drawer and the front projects out and doubles as the handle to open and close the drawers. Here I’ve set up my router table to cut a finger groove in the underside:
I used my belt / disk sander to round over the front corners to pretty them up:
And while there was a lot of cutting to make the parts, that pales in comparison to the assembly time to get these drawers put together. Here are all of the frames stacked up:
I did come up with a fairly efficient method to assemble these and I show that in the video at the bottom of this page. Basically, these don’t have to be perfect – the dividers can be off a bit and not make any difference overall.
After the glue dried I taped a piece of 60 grit sandpaper down to my workbench and leveled the bottom of each frame:
Before gluing it down to the drawer bottom:
I fired a 5/8″ pin into the end dividers to hold it in place while the glue sets, and stacked them up to dry:
In the meantime, I cut the shallow slots in the sides for each drawer:
And started putting together the single units:
The design is modular, made up of 5 singles stacked side by side, and this simplifies construction greatly:
While they can be left unattached, I decided to glue all of the units together:
Spring clamps and my wooden bar clamps to hold it tight while the glue dried.
I designed the organizer to fit between the shelves on my new shelf unit, thinking this is the perfect place for it:
Then I loaded it up with the screws, washers, nuts and nails that I have on hand, and actually went out and bought some more that I didn’t have or was running short of:
I labeled the front of each drawer to show what’s inside and I used this label printer I bought 3 or 4 years ago (but never used…) to do that:
Indeed, when I bought the printer, it was this exact project that I had in mind. Nice to finally get around to doing it!
Still a bunch of empty drawers, so plenty of space for anything else I happen to get in the future:
I made a video showing the build: